CELINA — An area veterinarian gave a dog at the center of a civil court case a “clean bill of health” Tuesday after giving the animal a routine check-up.
Attorneys on both sides of an ownership battle of the dog agreed to allow an inspection of health of the animal and an update of shots at the Celina Animal Hospital.
Craig Miesse, the veterinarian inspecting the dog, determined that the male dog was in good health and was still intact, which maintained a temporary restraining order through Auglaize County Municipal Court against the animal being neutered.
“The animal is a healthy dog,” Miesse said. “He is in good health overall.”
Timothy Scott Workman, 7240 State Route 219, Celina, filed for an order of possession and a restraining order in Auglaize County Municipal Court April 7 that would ban the Humane Society of Auglaize County, commonly abbreviated as ACHS, from neutering the animal. The court granted the ACHS temporary custody of the animal while the matter is decided in court.
Workman originally lost the dog in November 2008 and happened to spot a Pekingese dog at the ACHS in early April of this year while he was at the Humane Society building on unrelated business. Workman was there to assess another dog and possibly take it with him. He has routinely taken dogs from the Humane Society during the past several years after the animals could not be adopted out.
ACHS Board President and Director Sandy Harrison and ACHS Manager Mandy Fouse were present, during the dog’s examination while Workman, his girlfriend, and Quentin Derryberry, Workman’s attorney, were also present.
Workman claims the dog’s name is “Gysmo,” while ACHS staff has adopted the name of “Azlan” for the animal.
A disparity in the dog’s age has made the case even more difficult to assess.
Harrison has offered documentation that the dog in question is approximately two years old, while Workman has done the same, putting the dog’s age at approximately five years.
Two local veterinarians contacted spoke on the difficulty of assessing smaller dogs compared to large breeds, but they would not speculate on this animal without a personal inspection.
During the inspection, Workman and Harrison asked Miesse if the animal’s age could be determined. However, Miesse said the simple fact was that it could not.
“The dog cannot be measured for age exactly because of eruption patterns in its teeth,” Miesse said. “You can’t do it with a dog like you could a horse. Dietary habits would have to be known and I am not going to be able to say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ ”
During his examination, Miesse said the animal could be as young as 3 years old to as old as possibly 8 or 9.
“That’s about as close as you could get,” Miesse said.
ACHS staff claims the dog to be in the 2-3 years old range, while Workman claims the animal is older at approximately 5 years old.
Miesse did state that while the age could not be determined, that based on the general health of the dog that its age was likely in the higher of the age range he had given. However, he said that determination was based solely on probability and was not a scientific answer.
A problem arose due to a miscommunication in the scheduling for the appointment, which has made the issue of aging the dog even more unclear. Harrison had originally thought the appointment for the dog was to be Sept. 2 and took the dog for a check-up on that day. Harrison claimed that the same veterinarian determined the dog to be 2 to 2 1/2 years old at that time.
Tim Axe, officer manager at the animal hospital, confirmed that information but explained the differences.
“A dog can’t talk and communicate,” Axe said. “So we base a lot of the information on what is provided to us by the people bringing in the pets. It is difficult when you don’t have a history on the animal.”
After Tuesday’s check-up, the animal clinic now has records of the dog under both names.
After the appointment, Workman said that he simply just wishes they would return his dog. He claimed that the animal had been bleached in order to change its appearance. He said he has pictures to confirm this.
Harrison claims that threats were made against her during the examination by Workman.
“He said he would break my face,” Harrison said. “He said when he got out he would do it again.”
Harrison said she plans to file a report today with the Wapakoneta Police Department of the threats.
“If someone gets hurt, he needs to be the first person that is questioned,” Harrison said.
Workman denied making any threats.
“I exchanged a lot of things like ‘I don’t like you,’ ” Workman said. “I have not made any threats to her or anyone representing her in this case. I did not say that and she is full of lies.”